The Co-operative Group is spending £200m next year on rebranding 1,500 of its stores as part of the biggest modernisation programme in the group’s history. By December 2008 more than half its 4,500 portfolio of food stores, pharmacies, funeral, travel, bank branches and own-branded products will be rebranded and repackaged under the unified The Co-operative brand.
In July, United Co-operative and The Co-operative Group merged making the biggest co-operative business in the UK. Peter Marks, group chief executive, says: “The combined business now accounts for over 80% of co-operative trade in the UK, for the first time making a brand relaunch a viable proposition.”
Sales at 115 food stores refitted earlier this year are up 15% compared to 4.6% across the chain as a whole, according to Marks. He says: “One of the main objectives of the rebranding is to improve the overall brand standards. The inconsistency of our brand has been a major failing for far too long. This modernisation programme will address that.”
Co-operative announced it was doubling its £12m marketing spend in the next two years earlier this month (MW†October 4).